Today, PJ Harding and Noah Cyrus releasetheir collaborative debut EP PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE via RECORDS/RCA Records.
The duo has spent much of the last year working together remotely with PJ in his native Australia and Noah in Los Angeles, managing to make deeply personal records from opposite sides of the world.
Multiplatinum, Best New Artist Grammy-nominated songstress Noah Cyrus and sought-after Australian songwriter and producer PJ Harding [Chromeo, Ruel, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian] forged an unbreakable creative union after co-writing four songs from Noah’s 2020 EP, The End of Everything, including the double-platinum hit “July.” This carried over to countless sessions in late 2019 as they not only wrote together, but organically sang together as well. At the onset of the global pandemic, they continued to write and record over the internet resulting in their collaborative debut EP People Don’t Change.
The EP spotlights the organic nature of their partnership, with stripped-down instrumentation, the extraordinary pairing of their voices, poetic lyrics and catchy melodies to create a remarkable mash up of Americana, folk, and classic country.
“At heart, this is really a raw, homemade record,” PJ states. “There’s a strong folk tradition in Australia, which you can possibly feel. There’s certainly a lot of Nashville in there too. I feel like Noah is really the guiding force here. She’s the soul of this record.”
“This wouldn’t have happened without PJ,” counters Noah. “He put the music together, so I could do this. He’s the most talented dude I’ve ever partnered with. I genuinely admire him as a writer, singer, musician, and artist. Writing songs before, I honestly felt a little lost. It felt special to go back to my roots and make something with guitar and piano like what my dad made me listen to as a kid. I felt like I was able to put my true self into this. I could be who I am at the core—which is just Noah from Nashville.”
PJ continues: “Last summer, our song ‘July’ was really connecting, but it was an incredibly uncertain time.” “I’m fairly easygoing, but I was deeply anxious about being in Los Angeles with the pandemic getting out of control. I was having lots of discussions with my family about moving back to Australia. We eventually did. (Our debut single) ‘Dear August’ was written as a love letter to the future, hoping there’s a light on the other side. We haven’t seen the light, but we’re still looking.”
“It was full circle and funny for us to write ‘Dear August’after ‘July’,” observes Noah. “I was going through a lot. I suffer from anxiety and depression. We were in this cloud of darkness where it’s very easy to fall into bad habits. July and August 2020 were the hardest parts of quarantine for me. I lost my grandma, and I was looking to the future for hope. The song reminds me you will get to the light at the end of the tunnel. It may not be perfect, but you’ll get there.” Directed by Matt Earl, the accompanying music video for “Dear August” pays homage to The Notebook with its letters, classic automobile, and, of course, blue dress. Even though Noah shot her scenes in Southern California and PJ shot his in Australia, it illustrates their chemistry as musical kindred spirits.
ABOUT PJ Harding & Noah Cyrus:
Whether or not you believe in fate, its steady hand might just place you exactly where you are meant to be. It certainly brought Noah Cyrus and PJ Harding together. Their paths first crossed in Bali at a 2018 summer songwriting camp. Even though they were never properly paired, PJ wound up contributing guitar to Noah’s “Good Cry” and “wished they had a session together.” That wish came true a year later. At the same retreat in 2019, PJ and Noah unlocked the kind of chemistry that comes along once-in-a-lifetime. They penned four tunes for what would become her 2020 EP The End of Everything, including the title track, “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus,” the double-platinum “July,” and “Young & Sad.” Noah smiles, “From the moment we met, I just wanted to be in a band with PJ so bad! Even though neither of us expected to be here, it’s honestly my dream collaboration, and that’s not bullshit because I knew it immediately.” Returning to L.A. in the fall, they kept writing without a schedule or a plan. In the face of the global pandemic, they continued crafting songs via the internet. This unfettered creativity against all odds gave birth to their 2021 joint EP, PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE. Underscored by flashes of folk eloquence, Americana elegance, bluegrass energy, and country heart, the EP emanates light in a moment when it’s needed the most.
People Don’t Change – Track Listing
01 Dear August
02 You Belong to Somebody Else
04 The Best Of You
05 Slow Train Comin’
06 The Worst Of You